Two freak training accidents, both requiring surgery, have seriously set back the 2013 Super 15 rugby seasons for Upper Hutt's Cory Jane (Hurricanes) and Jason Woodward (Rebels).
Jane, a 41-test All Black, looks to be facing a long road to recovery after suffering a serious knee injury.
A key Hurricanes' leader and playmaker, Jane faces the prospect of missing the entire Super season after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee at training in Paraparaumu, two days before the side's pre-season game against the Crusaders.
A Hurricanes' statement says the injury will probably require surgery and Jane, widely regarded as the best right winger in world rugby, will see an orthopaedic surgeon to determine the details.
"We know CJ is focussed and dedicated to his rehabilitation. So he will be committed to working hard in his recovery to come back better and stronger," coach Mark Hammett says.
"This is not the news we wanted to hear at the start of the season and we acknowledge the loss of a world-class player."
Jane, an inveterate twitter user, has promised he will be back.
"I have ruptured my ACL and may need surgery. I've got hard work ahead of me to get back on the field but I will be back," he posted.
Two days earlier, Woodward's hopes for his Super 15 debut with the Melbourne Rebels on Friday week, were dashed.
A standout club and Wellington Lions player, Woodward was strangely unwanted by the Hurricanes and signed with the Rebels during last season's provincial competition where he scored over 100 points.
The training accident last Tuesday where he tore tendons after catching his finger in another player's shorts during a regular drill, will see the 22-year old fullback/winger out until at least round 4 of the competition.
Based on these happenings the former Upper Hutt All Black Alby Mathewson might be encouraged to take things carefully in training with his new Western Force outfit, ahead of the opening game where he could have expected to have come up against Woodward.
- Upper Hutt Leader